What You'll Learn and Accomplish

In the Cracking Your Beat Sheet workshop, you'll start with an idea for a novel or film and leave with the 15 key beats that will become the backbone of your story.

With the popular Save the Cat! approach, you’ll discover the language of storytelling and the universal story structuring principles that are widely used by successful screenwriters and novelists.

You'll turn an idea into a story by learning to...

  • Create a solid beat sheet that will serve as the blueprint, road map, and “backbone” of your story 
  • Identify and know the key components of your story genre
  • Learn the clichés of your genre so that you can break them like an artist
  • Plot your hero’s “transformation”
  • Troubleshoot your story idea for viability 
  • Write a compelling logline or elevator pitch
  • Develop a title to your story that anyone can visualize


Requirements

  • A copy of Blake Snyder's first book, Save the Cat! 
  • A computer, tablet, or smartphone
  • An idea (or several) that you want to write

Is This Course for You?

This course is for those who...

  • Want to troubleshoot an existing story
  • Have so many great ideas and struggle to choose "the one"
  • Are ready to write but not sure how to start
  • Are determined to finish a half-written story
  • Want to learn

This Course Includes

  • Over 3 hours and 17 minutes of original video production
  • 9 downloadable worksheets
  • 3 reading assignments (book not included)
  • 4 homework assignments

Course Curriculum

  • 2

    WELCOME

    • Introduction

  • 3

    GET YOUR PITCH READY

    • Lecture 1: Start with a Title and a Logline

    • Lecture 2: Blake's 10 Story Genres

    • Reading Assignment

    • Worksheet: 4 + 4 Elements of Every Successful Logline

    • Worksheet: Blake's 10 Story Genres

    • Worksheet: Logline Template

    • Worksheet: 3 Common Pitch Problems

    • Week 1 Homework

  • 4

    UNDERSTANDING AND BEGINNING YOUR BEATS

    • Lecture 3: Overview of the Blake Snyder Beat Sheet

    • Lecture 4: Focus on the 6 Pillar Beats

    • Reading Assignment

    • Worksheet: The 15 Beats

    • Week 2 Homework

  • 5

    REFINING AND COMPLETING YOUR BEATS

    • Lecture 5: Focus on the Other 9 Beats

    • Worksheet: Five-Point Finale/Storming the Castle

    • Week 3 Homework

  • 6

    PERFECTING YOUR BEATS AND COMPLETING THE TRANSFORMATION

    • Lecture 6: Polishing and Refining Your Beats

    • Reading Assignment

    • Worksheet: The Story Spine Checklist

    • Worksheet: The "Is It Broken?" Test

    • Worksheet: The Transformation Machine

    • Week 4 Homework

  • 7

    TELL US WHAT YOU THINK

    • Exit Survey

Your Instructor

Jennifer Zhang

After training directly with Blake Snyder in both his beat sheet workshops and master classes, filmmaker Jennifer Zhang wrote, produced, and sold her first award-winning feature film (The Evil Inside). Jennifer's 2020 pandemic feature, Charon, has been accepted in such film festivals as IndieFEST. Her features in development include Angela (under her production company, Triumvirate Entertainment) and The Minx (a co-production with Cinevision Global). She is represented by Avatar Entertainment.

Reviews

5 star rating

Honestly the best course I've seen on screenwriting.

paul sanchez

This course, and the books, have inspired me to write like no other courses have...and to make my existing scripts better. Totally worth it.

This course, and the books, have inspired me to write like no other courses have...and to make my existing scripts better. Totally worth it.

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5 star rating

Cracking the Beat Sheet helped me get an agent!

Shawn Maus

I have an MFA in Screenwriting. I read the STC books when they were published, but this course is what really made it all come together - including what I le...

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I have an MFA in Screenwriting. I read the STC books when they were published, but this course is what really made it all come together - including what I learned in my MFA program! The course is relevant as it uses movie examples we've all seen, not like most screenwriting courses that rely on "the classics" which most people rarely, if at all, watch. (Although I feel there is MUCH to be gained from watching the classics). The course is broken down into weeks, but you can watch it over the course of days. I do recommend using the weekly approach as if you were in college taking a course. DO the reading assignments and the worksheets as well. You'll be amazed by what you apply to the learning! I've been using Beat Sheets for years, but this comprehensive course brought new understandings to my usage. It's not just another tool in the toolbox, it's THE tool you need in your writing. I have even gone back to rewrite my current agent-approved script to tighten it up since I took this course. Bravo, Save the Cat Team!

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Let's Get Cracking!

Create your Blake Snyder beat sheet,
the backbone of your story.